Meet Edward G. Shaw, MD, MA
Edward G. Shaw, MD, MA, (“Empath Ed”) is dually trained as a physician (MD, Rush Medical College, 1983; Internship/Residency, Mayo Clinic, 1987) and a mental health counselor (MA, Wake Forest University, 2010).
He was the primary care partner for his wife, Rebecca, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007 at age 53 and died in 2016 following a 9-year journey.
He was a practicing academic radiation oncologist for 23 years, specializing in the treatment of adults and children with brain cancer, as well as a researcher focusing on the cognitive effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy in cancer survivors.
Ed was chairman of the Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSOM) radiation oncology department and associate director of clinical research for Wake Forest’s cancer center between 1995-2008, and also principal investigator of Wake Forest’s Community Clinical Oncology Program Research Base from 1999-2014.
During his academic career, Ed published 200 research articles, 25 book chapters, co-authored 2 books, received more than 21 million dollars in research grant funding, mostly from the National Cancer Institute, and was a 2015 recipient of the WFSOM Team Science Award. In 2010, inspired by Rebecca’s journey, his medical interest shifted to dementia diagnosis and treatment, and with his additional training in mental health counseling, he founded the Memory Counseling Program, part of the Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at WFSOM/Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which serves individuals, couples, and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. In October 2016, Ed’s first dementia counseling-related book was published, Keeping Love Alive As Memories Fade: The Five Love Languages and the Alzheimer’s Journey (co-authored by Deborah Barr and Dr. Gary Chapman).
The book describes Rebecca’s journey with Alzheimer’s disease, an innovative use of the five love languages for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers, and strategies for managing the emotional challenges of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver. His two newest books, “The Dementia Care-Partner’s Workbook” and “A Leader’s Manual for Dementia Care-Partner Support Groups” were released in the summer of 2019.
The Workbook is a support-group manual and self-study guide for dementia care partners, providing understanding, education, and hope for the long journey of dementia care-giving from diagnosis through end-of-life.
The Leader’s Manual is a comprehensive resource for those wanting to lead support groups for family caregivers. Ed’s books are acclaimed resources for mental health, medical and administrative professionals who work with seniors, persons living with dementia, and their care partners. His dual training as a medical and mental health practitioner, his knowledge of brain structure/function and dementia, and first-hand experience as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, have made him a sought-after local, regional, and national speaker.
He is the founder and CEO of Empath Education. Ed and his wife Claire reside in Winston-Salem, NC. He has three adult daughters, two grandsons, and a step-son.
Meet Claire B. Shaw
Claire B. Shaw, is the COO of Empath Education. A native of Winston-Salem, Claire recently retired from a 20-year long career as a computer programmer and data analyst at Wells Fargo. She was primary care partner for her late husband Jim, who died in 2016 following a 12-year journey with Alzheimer’s disease.
Claire has many roles and responsibilities at Empath Education. She maintains Ed’s speaking and training schedules, and usually travels with him to speaking engagements, managing book sales and answering attendees’ questions about the content of Ed’s books and the topics he speaks on. Claire also handles local arrangements for Ed’s 2-day support group leaders’ trainings, proof-reads his book manuscripts, and takes care of just about any other operational detail for Empath Education. Claire has one adult son and several step-children and -grandchildren.